August 10, 2006
But on top of that swamp, that bog is built one of the most amazing gardens in the city - a vast network of pools displays all sorts of water lilies, both native and tropical, as well as a variety of lotus flowers. One portion of the garden portrays the original Washington Swamp - cattails sway in the breeze above the reeds and wild rice.
Started in the late 19th century - the garden was run as a commercial venture before being taken over by the National Park Service - now it is the only aquatic garden in the NPS system. But this is great news to the guest, because it means that thoughtful and informative exhibit are part of the visitor's center, fascinating children's activities are available, including support for school groups, and ranger led tours of the facility are given by well-educated, enthusiastic and capable rangers.
In the gardens the Helen Fowler Lily is of great interest - named after one of the original owners of the garden. Just outside the park borders, a short hiking trail takes the visitor into the wilderness, along the primordial swamp.
The garden opens early in the morning - like at 7:00 AM - and early morning may be the best time to see it. While the show is wonderful all spring and summer, August with the show of the Victoria Water Lilies (the ones with the 4' wide leaves) can be spectacular.
While it seems off the beaten track, Kenilworth is accessible via Metro - take the orange line to Deanwood, then either walk (about a mile) or take the V8. The garden has very ample parking, so driving is also fairly easy.Delete | Reply | Reply to All | Forward | Redirect | Blacklist | Whitelist | Message Source | Save as | Print Back to INBOX
From journal Wonderful Washington DC